People, pets get extra room

FAIRMONT – The $120,000 addition to the Carl Nettifee Animal Shelter made its official debut at a ribbon-cutting Sunday, creating a new office/entry area that allows the former administrative space to be used for animals.

One part of the old office eventually will be used for a cat colony, and an upgrade to the dog area with the addition of more kennels also is planned.

The shelter, operated by the Martin County Humane Society, opened its doors in 1997.

“All the money came from people in the area, businesses, private individuals, grants,” said Laurence Lau, who with his wife, Mary Gail, has been a member of the society since its inception in 1994. “The county was a big contributor with $25,000, and Petco gave us $20,000.”

But, Lau added, the biggest fundraising boost came from the Charlotte Harrison estate in the amount of $60,000 in 2004.

According to Nancy Fetters, treasurer, the bulk of the animals at the shelter come from Fairmont. The city does its share by paying the utility bills for the facility.

The shelter is home to mostly cats and dogs, but it does have a rabbit in residence. The norm is usually about 100 cats and 20 dogs, with puppies younger than three months and many of the cats being placed in foster homes, said Karen Folkers, Martin County Humane Society president.

She added that most of the dogs being adopted are already microchipped because of a donation earmarked for that purpose.

People interested in adopting a pet – or volunteering – can call the Martin County Humane Society at (507) 238-1885. The shelter, located at 522 E. Margaret St., is open from 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.